Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander Gets to Bat Tomorrow
The Detroit Tigers fan base is still up in arms (as they should be) about the failures of Francisco Rodriguez.
The fact that the Detroit Tigers could be in first place in the AL Central if he had just done his job is a stinging reminder of the ups and downs of baseball.
So, as we slowly recover from the K-Rod debacle, it is time to look forward to the next series.
And, in that next series, the pitchers get to bat. Starting with none other than Justin Verlander.
Of the Tigers pitchers, no one has been as vocal about “pitchers who rake” than Verlander himself. On Twitter, he has continually decried the designated hitter. In February, he and fellow AL pitcher Chris Archer shared their ideas about the DH..has continually decried the designated hitter. In February, he and fellow AL pitcher Chris Archer shared their ideas about the DH.
Unfortunately, Verlander has not had many opportunities to be a pitcher who rakes. But, on Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he will a few more. Fans will get to see the Tigers go against the NL West this season as their interleague opponents. The first game will feature Verlander dueling against former Tiger Robbie Ray.
Verlander has yet to bat this season, but his history of plate appearances does not bode well. In his long career in the MLB, Verlander has only had 47 plate appearances and 37 at-bats. His career stats at the plate are not good: .081/.081/.081 with an OPS of .162. Fortunately, his numbers cannot get much worse and in the last few years, he has actually improved. His first hit came in 2014 against the San Diego Padres on April 12 when he actually earned two hits and scored his first run. In that same year, he gave up a sac hit, but did not earn an RBI off of it.
Verlander did not have any plate appearances in 2015 (remember he was hurt for most of the year), but he did get one hit in the Opening Day game against the Miami Marlins in 2016. He also scored a run that same day.
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There is no doubt that Verlander will be chomping at the bit to get his hands on a bat tomorrow against Robbie Ray. But, no matter what happens with the bat, the odds are good that JV will succeed on the mound. Verlander has traditionally pitched well against interleague squads. It is also safe to say that he will pitch as long as possible to keep the bullpen tucked away. In his last two outings, he threw 118 and 119 pitches respectively.
After Verlander gets his chance in Arizona, Matt Boyd will pitch on Tuesday against Zach Godley. Boyd has yet to see any time at the plate, so no one really knows what to expect other than the fact that he will bat from the left side.
Next: The Tigers work too hard for K-Rod's failures
After those two games in Arizona, the Tigers head north to Los Angeles for a set of four games against Mike Trout and the rest of the Angels. But, the Tigers could get some respite from the ever dangerous Trout who is day-to-day with a hamstring issue. He is not in the lineup in today’s game against the Oakland A’s.